I am using QGIS, and on my way to set up a huge spatial database (geographical), where most of the data is points without geometry), along with other types of data (like lines in DXF and areas in SHP).
Until now I have been using single files for all data, but I begin to believe that this will be rather slow (rendering/querying/calculating) when adding more and more data (?). I have read about a few different methods (like this discussion: Database versus Files for Solo Developer). Unfortunately I haven't found any article that clearly states pros and cons when using "single file data import" compared with using a proper database instead.
At the moment, I am the only one going to use this database, but in the future it will probably be more people, and perhaps even we will need to "install" this database on other peoples computers (not sure how, yet).
I'm rather new to using PostGIS, but in my understanding, to use (for example) a PostGIS database I need to save all my data as Shape files, instead of point text files (CSV)? So this is also an extra step that will take some time (and I feel more comfortable and used to making calculations and changing data in a CSV-file using Excel).
- My main question is: what the best way to build a database for this purpose?
- A sub-question is: what are the pros and cons when comparing "single file data import" and a proper database (I plan to use a PostGIS database)?
Some clarifications: First of all, I haven't had much education in GIS engineering, so perhaps some of my expressions and technical terms are somewhat wrong...
"Are you just using the csv to view the coordinates as a point?" - Yes, this is what I wrongfully called "single file import" earlier, the point (coordinates) itself is of course geometry as well.
"Really, what's huge?" - Good question, it's in the eye of the beholder I guess :) In this case it will be a database with around 150 000 points separated into many different filter layers. As it is now, each filtered layer reads from the CSV file everytime it loads, and I experience that to be a rather slow process compared to reading from only one database (with shapefiles) instead (correct me if I'm wrong). Other than that there is only about 20 000 - 30 000 line/polyline objects (about 200 Mb data).